Global Hunger Index: A Diminutive Survey of Hunger

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 contains several terminology appropriate for the goal, including hunger, food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. This does not mean that these terms are synonymous. Only fools would try to measure agricultural sustainability through nutrition data. SDG-2 therefore sets separate targets for undernourishment, food insecurity, stunting (height for age) and malnutrition (weight for height) when targeting targets.

It is difficult to distinguish between undernourishment and malnutrition, and FAO tends to equate food insecurity with malnutrition, which equates it with hunger. Hunger is unlikely to be a problem due to India’s subsidized food security plan. In fact, consumption surveys from the National Sample Survey report that nearly all households, both rural and urban, eat her two square meals a day. The discourse must move from hunger to malnutrition. This is why the National Indicator Framework of the SDGs in India (developed by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation) has been used to identify underweight, stunted and debilitated children under five, anemic pregnant women and children, women with low BMI, low BMI from society That’s why we have indicators such as people left behind. Supplementary grain. Again, it’s underappreciated, so what’s true for children and women doesn’t have to be true for the general public. It’s best to remember this when working with numbers.

With that comes the GHI (World Hunger Index) with its self-proclaimed peer-reviewed methodology. There are four indicators: undernutrition, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality. Since these are indicators, how accurate is it to call it the Hunger Index? related to defects. The term “hunger” is caused by malnutrition. This is for the entire population, not just children.

Why create such an index? It seems to have influenced policy. Therefore, such exercises have a normative angle. It’s not just academic and intellectual. Under “Policies” a rather empty general statement is given. ” There is no specific mention of children or women in this. This suggests that the policy intent is to emphasize hunger rather than other indicators, even if included. Every policy statement has a value judgment. Is increased stunting and wasting in children necessarily a bad thing? Most people would probably automatically answer yes. However, infant mortality rates are declining at the same time. Sure, that’s a good thing. These are children who would otherwise have died. At birth, they are likely to be underweight, stunted, and wasted below average, which drives the numbers down.

Had the methodology been truly peer-reviewed and not root-reviewed, it is likely that criticisms would have suggested separating the general population and child indicators. allows deviations from the policy of For child-related indicators, we use figures from the NFHS-5 (National Family Health Survey) conducted between 2019 and 2021. UNDP’s recent report on Multidimensional Poverty uses it to document poverty reduction. So we know where the data for 3 of the 4 metrics came from. Data are obtained through surveys, not from full enumerations as in the Census.

Nevertheless, the NFHS sample size is sufficiently large. Where did FAO get the data on the fourth indicator, undernourishment or hunger? This is not data that can be quantified by standard surveys. As in previous years, FAO decided to conduct its own survey through the eight-question Food Insecurity Experience Scale survey module. As most of you know, this poll was conducted with a sample size of 3,000. 3,000 might seem like a lot in an age where policy insights can be gained from chatting with a single taxi driver. But in a country like India, most people would laugh at this sample size.

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Peer-reviewed or not, the question seems strange to the person who created the survey. For example, question 8 asks, “Have you gone all day without food because you lack money or other resources?” This is fine. But question 1 says, “Were you worried that you wouldn’t have enough food to eat because you were running out of money or other resources?” A serious reservation must be made regarding the question of state of mind. becomes terrible. Indeed, the questions were not asked in English. Yes they were asked in Hindi. Question 6 states, “Has your household run out of food due to lack of money or other resources?” The Hindi translation asked is “apke ghar mein bhojana ki kami ho gayi kyonki ghar mei paise ya anya samashadano ki kami thi”. “Running out” means running out of food. “Kami” means lack of food. Answering “yes” to a Hindi question is not the same as answering “yes” to an English question.

This is more than just semantics. This is a serious translation error. Such errors may be due to incompetence or intentional. Incompetence or carelessness is unlikely to be the answer in an exercise that must have been peer-reviewed and repeated. Either way, by spreading something like the GHI, FAO has done a lot of damage to itself and trivialized a serious problem. Cross-country studies of hunger in other countries must have been subject to serious anomalies as well.

The author is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Board.the view is personal

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